Happy Birthday Leslie Caron!
Leslie Caron, former professional dancer and longtime film star, native of France, star of many movies including Gigi, An American in Paris, Father Goose, Chocolat, and Daddy Long Legs, had her birthday today. She was born July 1st, 1931 which makes her 76-- though she looks far younger.
I turned on the television this afternoon since Chris was busy writing up a report that she needed for later this week. On the tube were a number of movies with Caron in them and we watched the last quarter of Gigi. Chris thought she was in her mid-20s but I thought she must have been older than that since I knew she'd been a professional ballerina in Paris before she made any movies.
Turns out I was wrong about Caron's age due to her being a dancer at a very early age. She was hired by the Ballets des Champs-Elysées when she was only 16 and worked there for 3 years before Gene Kelly personally recruited her for his movie An American in Paris due to his seeing her dance on stage in Paris the year before. She was 20 in that movie and 27 when she starred in the Oscar winning movie Gigi.
I've only seen 7 of her many movies and most of those were early ones. As she developed her acting ability, Caron increasingly took on serious dramas and those don't hold as much interest for me. I like light hearted fare and the occasional musical. I've seen the 5 movies listed above and Gigi is my favorite. I've seen it many, many times. Chris, on the other hand, likes Chocolat the best though I doubt Leslie Caron enters into the equation. While she's not said, I suspect Johnny Depp is her deciding factor. Girls!
In any case, I thought Caron was beautiful in Gigi, beguiling in that aggravating feminine way in Father Goose, and an amazing dancer in An American in Paris. I hope she had a wonderful birthday with many more to come.